Making the most of downtime

This year has turned business on its head. Some print service providers have been busier than ever – the demand for floor graphics and social distancing signage has gone through the roof – but others have seen a dramatic decline in work. Even PSPs holding steady may have some downtime. Everyone prefers to be busy but having a few extra hours in the week might be a valuable opportunity for your business to get fit for the future. Here's how.

 

Brush up on skills 

Now is a great time for your staff – and for you – to learn some new skills. Online training courses, webinars, even a few hours spent on YouTube could provide useful new knowledge. 

 

Moreover, they can also provide inspiration and give you the confidence to move in fresh new directions. You might have been outsourcing work like design or vehicle wrapping, but a how-to or two might inspire you to bring it in-house. 

 

Downtime is also the perfect opportunity to learn more about your existing equipment or services. Your printer probably has functions you've never used before – integrated cutting, a take-up unit, gloss ink, perhaps – so pick up the manual and maximise its potential.

 

Media studies

You probably have a go-to material and supplier, but chances are there are more options out there to explore. Research media suppliers and their ranges, and see if you can get a better deal on your most commonly used products. 

 

Maybe try something new and different – use your downtime to test new substrates on your printers. You could also spend some time printing samples, for your own use and for your customers, to show exactly what your business can do.

 

Housekeeping 

Is your business looking its best? If your customers visit your premises, spruce it up by printing new displays that really show off your talents and technology. Brightening up your workspace could give you and your team a boost of enthusiasm too. 

 

The same goes for your website: is your online presence showing your business in its best light? Customers researching a print provider online will love to see examples of your work, so dig out all those photographs of your favourite projects and post them on your site and social channels. If you can make your website cleaner, better looking and easier to navigate as well, now is your opportunity.

 

Look to the future

We rarely have time to consider business strategy, so take advantage of slow days now. Discover the Purple Cow and the Blue Ocean and what these concepts could do for your business. Consider new investments or a workforce restructure, spending time crunching the numbers. 

 

Your suppliers may offer advice, support or even full training on these aspects so get in touch and see how they can help. It's also important to stay connected to your colleagues. Pick up the phone and call an old friend from the trade, talk about what's happening now and how the industry can move on in the future.